Feeling French in Berlin
Whether you’re French and away from home or just curious about this culture, Berlin offers a broad range of places that will allow you to experience the French lifestyle. C’est parti !
Schönstedtstraße 14, 12043 Neukölln
Monday – Friday, 8h – 18h
This homely café has a tradition of joining authentic French cuisine with fresh organic products, which results in delicious dishes that fit each season. Their breakfast (or “petit-déjeuner”) menu displays what every French household would put on the table in the morning, meaning brioche, baguette, butter and jam, but other variations include a homemade granola or a regional hard cheese, for those who prefer to start their day with a savoury twist. Their lunch menu is just as much appetizing, with quiches, poulet basquaise and lemon meringue tarts for those who crave something more substantial.
Brunnenstraße 39, 10115 Mitte
Monday – Friday, 8h – 19h
Saturday – Sunday, 9h – 19h
Du Bonheur takes pride in celebrating not only the “classical” Parisian pâtisserie, but also the regional specialities. Thus, you will find alongside croissants and pains aux chocolats some pastries that generally don’t cross the borders. Our special recommendations? A canelé, small rum and vanilla flavoured soft custard pastry from Bordeaux, or a Kouign Amann, a Breton butter and sugar crusty cake.
Görlitzer Straße 32A, 10997 Kreuzberg
Friday – Sunday, 10h – 18h
What happens when you bring together a French pâtissier and a Brasilian hairdresser? The answer is Salon Sucré, a hairdresser that doubles as a pâtisserie – which means you can enjoy a delicious éclair au chocolat while having a head-massage. However, keep in mind that the hair-dresser is only open Wednesdays until Saturday – so no haircut on Sundays, only peach tarts!
Two and Two
Pannierstraße 6, 12047 Neukölln
Monday – Tuesday & Thursday – Sunday, 10h – 18h30
Born from two widely different cultures, Two and Two is a mix of French and Japanese influences. The result is a most appreciated coffee place, where one can enjoy quality coffee alongside a broad range of French pastries, while being able to browse through Japanese stationery. Enjoy this mix of culture by combining a matcha latte to your financier, you won’t regret it.
Pappelallee 15, 10437 Prenzlauer Berg
Wednesday – Friday, 12h – 16h & 18h – 23h
Saturday, 12h – 00H
Sunday, 12h – 23h
What would the French be without their crêpes? Suzette Crêperie, a Breton restaurant held by the affables Damien and Olivier, remains (in my opinion) the best crêpes and galettes restaurant of Berlin. Their broad range or choice and flavors compliments well the galettes (buckwheat-flour savoury crêpe), and you will feel full and happy after a meal at theirs. Having being raised on “Complète” galette (ham, emmental cheese and egg), their twist on the classic galette is a delight, and I recommend full-heartedly the “Complète des Gourmands, where comté cheese replaces emmental cheese, and cured ham the basic ham. I would however also recommend having a go at the “Savoyarde” (reblochon cheese, lardons, potatoes, cream, emmental cheese and homemade onions and tomato confit), or the “Alsacienne” (munster cheese, mushrooms, cumin, cream and emmental cheese). But keep in mind that whichever choice you make, it will be a good one!
Maybachufer 2, 12047 Neukölln
Tuesday – Saturday, 18h30 – 00h
Ah, Lyon and its petits bouchons! But what are those, may you ask? A petit bouchon is the traditional Lyon restaurant, where local specialties are served. Amongst those specialties, you will find the ever-so filling quenelle, plates of deli meats and local wines. Le Saint-Amour is one of those expat petit bouchon, giving a relaxed vibe by the Maybachufer canal. However, the owners didn’t stop quite there, and added to their menu specialties from neighboring Lyon departments – thus, you will have the chance to taste the delicious ravioles de Romans, sort of small raviolis filled with emmental or comté cheese and parsley. A definite favourite from yours truly, and well worth the journey.
Eberswalder Straße 28, 10437 Prenzlauer Berg
Monday – Sunday, 18h30 – 23h
The bistrot is something one can see at every corner of a street in France, especially in big cities such as Paris or Strasbourg. Basically, a bistrot is the equivalent of the French fast-food – the name even originates from Russian workers in France, wanting to eat fast and just telling “bistro” to the waiters, meaning “fast” in their mother tongue. Nowadays, it’s a restaurant that doesn’t display a large menu, but takes pride in serving daily fresh meal and renewing the mains and starters on a regular basis. Les Valseuses is no exception, and follow these unspoken bistrot rules by having daily fresh for mains and starters, but having at all times great selection of beef (ribeye, rump steak and tartare), accompanied by homemade fries and salad.
Torstraße 167, 10115 Mitte
Tuesday – Saturday, 18h – 23h
Sunday, 10h – 23h
Paris, Brittany, Lyon… feels like something is missing? Well you’re right, and 3 Minutes sur Mer fills that void by offering a typical French Mediterranean coast menu. Here, fish is exalted and served as a starter in the form of rouille soupe, or as a smoked char accompanied by radicchio, pea, orange, fennel and buttermilk. Shells play also a big part, as you can order half a dozen of snails or oysters to whet your appetite. The main courses are not undone, and even though the bouillabaisse is the right choice for sun and holiday-nostalgic people, the suprême of chicken with its corn and chanterelle mushrooms sure is tempting.
Torstrasse 68, 10119 Mitte
Monday – Saturday, 18h – 1h30
Lovechild of German and French cultures, -brut- is a bar that brings together “German hospitality and French savoir-vivre”, as described on their website. If those words do not mean a lot to you, let me shed some light on the matter : this dimly lit and cosy bar has everything a German bar offers (great service and atmosphere), but also some specialities that will delight your tastes buds. The selection of wines, red and whites from both countries, are the sure bet for those who love wine, and the others that just want a good time with their oenologists friends.
Weinmeisterstraße 4, 10178 Mitte
Montag – Freitag, 14h – 00h
Saturday, 13h – 00h
So to speak, Absinth Depot is not a French bar – but the products it specialized in is traditionally associated with France, thus the reason it made it to this guide. This Berlin reference for absinths offers a broad range of over 300 varieties of the famous green fairy. This is however not the bar where you would stay a whole night, as absinth is a fairly strong alcohol; but you can definitely keep on enjoying this delicate vermouth thanks to their shop, physical or online.
Pohlstraße 75, 10785 Charlottenburg
Tuesday – Thursday, 14h – 00h
Friday – Saturday, 12h – 00h
A French tradition is to celebrate the new Burgundy wines by all joining together in a bar and downing bottles after bottles of this Beaujolais Nouveau. How to carry on this tradition when living that far from Burgundy, may you ask? Les Climats definitely has the answer to your rightfully asked question. Their range covers a broad selection of wines and cremates from Burgundy, from the Pinot Noir to the Gamay without forgetting about Aligoté and other Chardonnay. Be wary that the prices are high for Berlin, but well worth it if your only wish is to drink Burgundy wines beloved by Burgundy people.
Bouleplatz am Landwehrkanal
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 13, 10999 Kreuzberg
Conveniently placed next to the Maybach canal, these pétanque strips are the perfect excuse for a lazy sport session. No need to give your all playing boules, as this location is beloved by all to have a relaxing evening drinking beer and looking over the picturesque surroundings. But if you do want to get competitive, worry not ! A competition takes place every Friday, and gathers both beginners seeking to meet new fun-loving people and world-class players. So what is it going to be, tirer ou pointer?
Français, or Maison de France
Kurfürstendamm 211, 10719 Charlottenburg
(Library) Tuesday & Friday, 14h – 18h30
Wednesday – Thursday, 12h – 18h30
Saturday, 11h – 17h
Bearer of the two names, the Institut Français (or Maison de France) stands as the French Cultural Center of Berlin. Apart from giving lessons to those wanting to learn Molière’s language, they also have a library that display a broad range of books, CDs, DVDs and other formats. By visiting their website, you will have a glimpse of all the events organized by the Institut Français; may you like classical dance, reading events, musical introduction for children or movie nights, the Institut has it all. If you want to know more about their program, click here.
Kurfürstendamm 211, 10719 Charlottenburg
Located within the Institut Français, this old-fashioned cinema will transport you in a faraway time-bubble the time of a movie. Now managed by the Berlin-based chain of original cinemas Yorck Kinos, Cinema Paris broadcast mainly author movies and other smaller productions. While some weeks are dedicated to nostalgia and la vie en rose with retrospective on French New Wave, others keep track with today and shows the very best of French author movies – a broad spectrum that allows anyone to get a better idea of the richness of French culture. To know more about their current program, click here.